Over the years, Popical Island have proven that they’re the embodiment of the D.I.Y. spirit, putting out consistently enjoyable releases and that their enthusiasm for spirited pop music never wanes. Their latest and fittingly-titled release is a collection of tracks from Ginnels, Grand Pocket Orchestra, No Monster Club, and Cave Ghosts and upholds the community-centric values on which the label has built its success.
Ginnels begin proceedings with ‘Architecture Mags’, which opens with a low acoustic guitar and, at about the halfway point, becomes more upbeat when all the electrified elements of the band are introduced. Ginnels’ other two tracks on the album, ‘Penny Dreadfuls’ and ‘Rotting Meat’, continue in a similar vein as the second half of ‘Architecture Mags’; upbeat, well-structured pop with a kick. Cave Ghost’s three tracks all move along slowly and sweetly, the tropical ‘When You Go Away’ complete with beautiful vocals.
The work that No Monster Club contribute will last with you long after the record has finished. ‘The Call of the Wild’ bursts with energy and suddently slows before starting up again. It’s many elements conbine to create a unique and memorable song. ‘Freaking Me Out’ is one of the highlights of the album – driven forward by a fast-paced guitar riff and shouts of, “You’re freakin’ me out, you’re freakin’ me out. You don’t think straight” before it slows down and gradually comes to a halt. Grand Pocket Orchestra meanwhile have shades of the sweetness of Cave Ghosts on ‘Society’ and the unique energy of No Monster Club on ‘No One’. The Community Games doesn’t feel like a compilation but more like a consistent album of music made like-minded friends who share a space and resources; a community if you like.